Top newspaper calls on Brazil leader to quit

Brazil's President Michel Temer reacting as he spoke at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, May 18, 2017. The banner reads "Out Temer".

CVM declined to give details on the probes but said they were opened on Wednesday and Thursday, after leaked details of the plea testimony accusing President Michel Temer of taking millions in bribes led to the biggest currency losses in almost two decades.

The testimony made public by the Supreme Court is from executives of the world's largest meatpacking company, and raises serious doubts about whether Temer can maintain his grip on the presidency.

The testimony raises serious doubts about whether Temer, who replaced the impeached Rousseff previous year, can maintain his grip on the presidency amid the string of corruption scandals that has engulfed vast swaths of Brazil's political class and business elites.

The leaders of several political parties in Temer's governing coalition planned to meet with their members Saturday in Brasilia.

Upon hearing about the bribe scheme, Temer says, "You need to keep it going, OK?"

"This testimony is hitting everyone, all the major political players and, most importantly, a sitting president", he added.

The revelations are allegedly that President Michel Temer, as well as his two predecessors, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Rousseff, were involved in massive bribery and corruption schemes in which JBS was given contracts and low-priced credits, as well as resolving tax and other issues with the authorities, Reuters reports.

Temer on Thursday, in a terse address to the nation, said he would not resign from the presidency.

Lawyers for Lula did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

SAO PAULO Brazil's securities regulator said it launched four new probes against meatpacker JBS SA (JBSS3.SA) and other companies controlled by J&F Investimentos on Friday to investigate suspicious trades made before markets were rattled by the revelation of a plea deal by the company's top executives.

Rousseff denied the accusations in a statement and said she never had offshore bank accounts.

Cunha has been convicted and jailed in the sprawling corruption probe into kickbacks at the state-run oil giant Petrobras, but many believe he could still give damning testimony about dozens of politicians.

That's according to an investigation released by the country's Supreme Court on Friday.

He said he would ask the country's high court to suspend the investigation against him until it could verify that the supposedly incriminating recording had not been altered.

On the recording, Batista informs Temer that he's been making payments to buy the silence of jailed former congressional leader Eduardo Cunha, who is serving a 15-year term for corruption.

Attorney General Rodrigo Janot has accused him of corruption and obstruction of justice in the case before the court. The country is still rattled by mysterious plane crashes - one in January that killed a top anti-corruption judge, and another in 2014 that killed a Neves political opponent. He previously served as vice president under Rousseff.

(In the end, the company paid $4.6-million to five congressmen, he said.) JBS was a huge beneficiary of low-interest loans from a government development bank under Ms. Rousseff's and Mr. da Silva's administrations; the Batista brothers were charged with financial crimes in relation to that funding, and they negotiated immunity from prosecution with this plea bargain.

Batista's plea bargain implicated so many across the political spectrum that Brazilian police carried out more than 30 search warrants on Thursday morning.

Prosecutors wrote in the document released on Friday that they had proof Neves collaborated with Temer in attempts to slow or halt anti-corruption investigations.

  • Leroy Wright